and dubious appreciation for Gary Piontkowski for revealing his inability to be trusted.....that most of us recognized long ago.
Dishonorable mention for the town leaders who failed to act to protect Plainville's Future, ignoring complaints, silencing the public and to Town Manager Joe Fernandes who genuflected too deeply....
Dishonorable mention to the media for ignoring concerns, and falling in love with the 'charismatic' Gary Piontkowski, as Mark Aresenault described him.
Gaming Commission Disqualifies Plainridge Slots Parlor
August 5th, 2013
BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has disqualified the owners of the Plainridge Racecourse from pursuing the state’s sole slots parlor license.
The commission issued a statement Monday saying Plainridge’s owners failed to present “clear and convincing evidence as to business practices that will likely lead to a successful gaming operation.”
The decision leaves four other slots applicants.
Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby said the decision to disqualify Plainridge followed a comprehensive background investigation and deliberations by the five-member commission.
The commission said the investigation revealed what it called “a culture of fear and concealment pervasive in the operations” of the Plainville facility. They said the most notable problem was former Plainridge head Gary Piontkowski’s withdrawals from the money room.
Also Monday, the commission allowed a slots proposal by Raynham Park to move forward.
Plainridge Racecourse disqualified from slots sweepstakes
State casino regulators have disqualified Plainridge Racecourse from the competition for a slots parlor license, citing revelations raised by state investigators that former track President Gary T. Piontkowski made personal cash withdrawals from the struggling track’s money room “almost on a daily basis” for years, totaling roughly $1.4 million.
“The burden is on them to demonstrate their suitability to operate a gaming establishment,” the commission wrote of Plainridge. “Their lack of attention to detail, interest in the operation and blind trust does not advance their case.”
Plainridge, in Plainville, is the only harness racing track in Massachusetts. The rejection of the track’s application to operate slot machines puts the future of harness racing industry in serious jeopardy.
“I think it is very difficult to sustain a track without slot machines,” said Clyde Barrow, a gambling expert at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. “And the truth be told, Plainridge opened primarily on the hopes of one day getting slots.”
[Provisions in the Gambling Legislation provide taxpayer subsidies to support the DEAD HORSE RACING INDUSTRY. Attendance and 'handle' have declined for years across the nation and no one questions. See here: Horse Racing ]
A rival slots developer, Raynham Park, was declared qualified to bid, in a gambling commission ruling also released today.
Mass. panel disqualifies Plainridge slots parlor
BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts Gaming Commission on Monday disqualified the owners of the Plainridge Racecourse from pursuing the state’s sole slots parlor license.
The commission said in a statement that Plainridge’s owners failed to present ‘‘clear and convincing evidence as to business practices that will likely lead to a successful gaming operation.’’
The decision leaves four other slots applicants. The commission is expected to make its final selection before the end of the year.
Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby said the decision to disqualify Plainridge — operating under the business name of Ourway Realty LLC — followed a comprehensive background investigation and deliberations by the five-member commission.
‘‘The Commission has determined that Ourway Realty LLC has failed to meet its burden of proof, particularly as to the business practices and the business ability of the applicant to establish and maintain a successful gaming establishment,’’ the commission report said.
The commission said the investigation revealed what it called ‘‘a culture of fear and concealment pervasive in the operations’’ of the Plainville facility. It said the most notable concern were ‘‘deeply troubling’’ practices of the former Plainridge president Gary Piontkowski.
In addition, the commission said, the decision by Plainridge Racecourse to remove Piontkowski and replace him with John Grogan as the president of Ourway on April 3 didn’t go far enough to dispel the commission’s concerns.
‘‘Little to none’’ of Grogan’s experience is in the gambling arena and improvements he’s claimed to have made to Plainridge ‘‘serve neither to entirely neutralize the past transgressions,’’ the commission said.
In response, Plainridge spokesman Bill Ryan said only that the company was disappointed by the commission decision and was evaluating its options.
‘‘Its existing harness racing operation and relationship with the community of Plainville are of paramount importance moving forward,’’ Ryan said.
Meanwhile, the commission also announced it will allow Raynham Park to move forward on a slots proposal.
In June, the Raynham Board of Selectmen approved a host community agreement with the developer.
Under the terms of the agreement, the town would receive annual fees of more than $1.1 million. The agreement must be approved in a town-wide referendum Aug. 13 for Raynham Park to be eligible for a state license.
Raynham Park owner George Carney said he hopes local residents will back the proposal, which he said will bring jobs and revenue to the state.
The commission last month voted to qualify Mass Gaming & Entertainment, a subsidiary of Chicago-based Rush Street Gaming, and PPE Casino Resorts, affiliated with Baltimore-based Cordish Cos.
Both companies are also pursuing the slots parlor license. The qualification also followed criminal and financial background checks required for all slots parlor and casino applicants.
A fourth slots parlor applicant, Penn National, will have a suitability hearing at the end of this month.